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Probability Discussion Questions

Question Description

  • Conditional Probability

    In §4.4 we are introduced to the concept of conditional probability. The notation P(A | B) denotes the probability of event A occurring given that we know event B has occurred.

    • What is probability? How is it different from conditional probability?
    • What is an everyday example of a question that is based on conditional probability? Create one.
    • Now consider the Monty Hall Problem introduced in the following video:

    • After watching this video, we know that if we are given the option to switch doors that, probabilistically speaking, it is in our best interest to switch.
    • Explain WHY the chance of winning after the host opens a zonk door is NOT 50/50.
    • Explain why it is in your best interest to switch doors after a zonk door is opened.
    • If the game were based on four doors, and Monty opened two zonks after you had picked your door, what would be the chance of winning? Why?
  • The Normal Probability Distribution

    In §6.2 we are introduced to the Normal Probability Distribution and the special case of the Normal Probability Distribution, the Standard Normal Probability Distribution, which is a Normal Probability Distribution with mean (u) zero and variance (σ2) one.

    One way to find probabilities from a Standard Normal Distribution is to use probability tables, which are located inside the front cover of your textbook.

    • What is a z value?
    • What is the purpose of a z value?
    • According to the table, what is the probability when z ≤ -1.75? The probability when z ≤ 1.75? How did you find the values?
    • What are the values in this table representing?
    • What properties of probability distributions and specifically the Normal Probability Distribution do you notice from the two probabilities that you have found in the table?

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